Peter Mattis is a well-traveled worship leader, artist, and pastor at Bethel Church that leads the Worship Rooms, missions trips, and is a Revival Group pastor at WorshipU On Campus. Peter shares from his personal journey on what it means to be in the process of growing in identity from his recent ministry trip to Australia and New Zealand.
“Process” is an idea that always seems to be tagged on to thoughts of journeying through long seasons in dry deserts while alone and waiting on God. It can be a trendy buzzword that we throw around a lot as worship leaders and creatives. But in all honesty, we are more likely to shudder at the very thought of it rather than truly walking it out.
When I first came to Bethel for the School of Supernatural Ministry I had very grandiose aspirations of becoming the next great worship leader that would change the world. Tryouts for worship team came along and I heard the voice of the Father clearer than ever invite me into a season of resting and not leading. My world would end! Dramatically distraught after a week of very choice words and wrestling with the Lord, I accepted the invitation. For truly the Father works by invitation, never demanding, and only inviting with open hand. “Do you trust Me?”
Over the next year I would always want to be in the front for worship- singing, jumping and sweating it out with the best of them. But as I crept toward the back of the room and literally ended up facing the wall, I would feel the pleasure of God so close – “is this not enough?” I watched my identity as Peter “the worship leader” was stripped away. I had to disengage all distractions to see what He was doing. And ever so slowly, Peter “the son” began to permeate my heart. Before anything else we are sons and daughters of a proud Father.
Your value is so much more than your gift.
The nature of process is that you usually do not see that you are even in a process until you are out of it. Counterproductive? Maybe. But the Holy Spirit is not afraid of my unknown and I think it is the beautiful scheming of the Lord to set us up to receive what our heart wants as well as what it needs. Process is less of an arduous journey and more of a divine adventure into the depths of seeing who we are as we see who He really is. The key is to remain present, fully immersed and captivated by what the Lord is doing not by what you believe Him not to be doing.
This past month I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand after leading worship on a ministry trip in Australia. Everywhere we went was another Instagram moment to capture and my love for the outdoors was like a drooling kid in a candy store, wide eyed at mountains and lakes straight out of last month’s National Geographic. Now, my photos only reflected the summit top views and breathtaking picturesque scenery. They did not show the amount of sheep poop, mud pits and rock walls we had to navigate to get to the top nor the sweat stains of my shirt or aching body and throbbing legs. But the hike, like a journeying process, is the gift of being with Jesus through every step and climb. And that is my enough.
It is easy to see worship leaders leading incredible moments corporately but know that on some level they all embraced the story and process to get them to that place. Many sacrificed the comforts of the easy path to accept the invitation and choose the path less traveled. Jesus spent 30 years feasting on the Father’s voice before He ever did a thing in ministry. David was anointed King and went straight back to herding dirty sheep in an unknown field years before even seeing Jerusalem. The Israelites entered the Promise Land but did not even occupy it fully until a generation later.
What is your promised land, your mountain top? It is the kindness of the Lord to give us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. And it is even His kindness that withholds for a bit so that the gift does not crush us with it’s weight. He is a good Father and is not afraid of the dirty mess that gets us to the top. Give in to the process. For after all, your process is simply the unraveling of seeing His constant pursuit.